Internet History and WWW History: Internet Resources

Alpha: Internet History

General histories

On the address resides Michael Hauben & Ronda Hauben's Netizens: On the History and Impact of Usenet and the Internet, a work-in-progress comprising over one hundred pages.

In February 1997 the true inventors again made an invaluable contribution to the canon of Internet histories with their extremely interesting text A Brief History of the Internet, to be found at the URL The main author is Barry Leiner, but you also encounter Net.gods like Vinton Cerf and Jon Postel in the list of contributors.

Another unmissable figure in Internet history is Robert E. Kahn. He offers his views on " The Role of Government in the Evolution of the Internet" at

Leonard Kleinrock oversaw the installation of the first ARPANET node and tells about it at

At you can find Henry Edward Hardy's Master's Thesis from 1993, a very useful Net history.

In their "What is the Internet, Anyway" John S. Quarterman and Smoot Carl-Mitchell provide historical facts with a very technical flavour at

Science Fiction arbiter Bruce Sterling delivers a short and refreshingly un-technical Internet history at

"The Roads and Crossroads of Internet´s History" by Gregory R. Gromov is yet another (colorful) offer at the address

For more personal accounts written by the people who actually were there, check out Vinton Cerf's text: "How the Internet Came to Be" at

You can also consult RFC (Request for Comments) 1000 by J. Reynolds & J. Postel, residing at This contains some very interesting comments on the early days of the ARPANET, the original packet-switching network made operational in September 1969.

Internet History Timelines

For the ultimate desktop reference you need "Hobbes Internet Timeline" by Robert Hobbes Zakon, a phenomenally useful list of Net dates and events available at

Specific Internet Protocols and Events

Paul Baran was the man behind the concept of Distributed Communications Networks, a cornerstone concept in Internetworking. Read his seminal work at the RAND website: Publications in the "On Distributed Communications Series" are available at

A good resource on Usenet history by Jan Schaumann can be found at More Usenet content and a short Usenet History on

Charles A. Gimon´s "IRC: The Net in Realtime" at tells the story of Internet Relay Chat.

On 1 November 1988 the infamous Internet Worm wrecked havoc on 10 % of the hosts existing on the Internet at that time. Donn Seeley of the University of Utah has compiled A Tour of The Worm at

Wes Sonnenreich tells the story of the all-important Internet Search Engines at


Beta: Behind the WWW

WWW Co-founder Robert Cailliau has written "A Little History of the World Wide Web," a text residing at

You can also read the original proposal for the WWW by Tim Berners-Lee and R. Cailliau: "WorldWideWeb: Proposal for a HyperText Project." at

Lenny Zeltser does a good job in his "The World-Wide Web: Origins and Beyond" at

A load of documents about the Web and Web technology and standards are collected by the W3 Consortium at

One of the core features of the Web is Hypertext, read more about this invention at the "HyperTerrorist's Timeline of Hypertext History":

The concept of Hypertext was developed by Theodor Holm Nelson. Read more about him and his Xanadu project at

A precursor for hypertext was described by the American physicist Vannevar Bush in his far-sighted essay "As We Might Think" from the July 1945 issue of Atlantic Monthly. It can be read at


Delta: Internet and WWW Statistics

Internet Size

One of the most frequently asked questions about the Internet concerns its actual physical size, a question that is almost impossible to answer. But luckily there are people that attempt to do it anyway.

Networks Wizards conduct a Domain Name Survey every 6 months, and place their results on the address

Matthew Gray has taken these and other statistics and assembled some authoritative facts about Internet and WWW size. Available at

The British-based Netcraft Web Server Survey gives a good indication of the number of WWW servers available. Read it at

RIPE offers a regularly updated European Host Count, available at

Larry Landweber occasionally updates his list of International Connectivity, an invaluable source for people interested in which countries are on the Net and which are not. It is also a useful tool if one wishes to keep track of the many country codes used for top-level domain names. You can get present and past versions at

You can also read about the Asian part of the Internet in Matthew T. Ciolek´s article "The Size, Content and Geography of Asian Cyberspace: An Initial Measurement," available at

Internet Traffic

There is plenty of information about historic Internet traffic available. For information about traffic on the now defunct NSFNET, try You can find more NSFNET statistics at Meric, Inc.,

For current information about network traffic, one must contact the individual backbone operators and Internet providers. However, look at for a list of such resources.

You can also enjoy Martin Dodge´s The Geography of Cyberspace, a collection of links to innovative initiatives that attempt to track how the Internet is constructed and how it constantly evolves. Check it out at

Internet Use

For the most useful and exhaustive insights into Internet use you must visit the Graphics, Visualization and Usability Center (also known as the GVU) at Georgia Tech. Since January 1994 they have conducted 8 individual WWW User Surveys and they all provide a wealth of facts. You'll find the surveys at

If you are looking for an exhaustive list of surveys, check out Irish consultant and developer NUA´s survey list and database. Available at

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This page was last updated on 5 March 2006.

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